“Each of my paintings tells a story. In the twentieth century, with the predominance of
abstract art, there is a lot of “feeling,” but not much of a story. I think it is time again for
paintings to represent something, to give some sort of message and convey the artist's
outlook on the world. Perhaps this is why I go back to the art of the fifteenth and
sixteenth centuries for inspiration."
Kankanian, from Washington Times “Beyond the Eye”
Armen Kankanian's artistic style and philosophy found its origins in Yerevan, Armenia, where he was born in 1959.
Kankanian knew from an early age he wanted to be an artist, although he trained and earned a degree in Architecture.
Kankanian's study of architecture enmeshed him in the traditions of Armenia's rich culture and Old World ideologies which fit well into symbolic and abstract art.
As an architect, Kankanian developed the master plan for the town of Amasia, rebuilt after the devastating earthquake of 1988. He also designed a traditional Armenian church for the city of Masis. As a practicing Architect, Kankanian won numerous architectural competitions. All the while, he also continued painting, knowing this is where his true passion lay. In 1990 Kankanian was selected to represent Armenia in an Architectural competition sponsored by Virginia Polytechnic
Institute (Virginia Tech). Kankanian won the competition and was offered a postgraduate scholarship to further his studies in architecture at Virginia Tech. During that time, Kankanian decided to become a full-time painter. His paintings have been exhibited at numerous art galleries in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. In addition, Kankanian's work has been featured in a number of magazines, such as Home and Design, Washington Times, Catholic Standard, Congressional Record, World & I to name a few.
In 1993 Kankanian was commissioned by Saint Aloysius Gonzaga Church Renovation Committee, the oldest Catholic Church in
Washington DC, to clean, repair, restore and inpaint the church's treasured paintings by Constantino Brumidi, an Italian-American historical artist, best known and honored for his fresco work in the U.S Capital Building in Washington DC. Kankanian was also commissioned to create two original murals in the back of the church. Kankanian took great pride in the fact that, as an immigrant, he was preserving the work of another immigrant, Brumidi.
Kankanian has taught art classes and developed a number of children's books, promoting art activity. These books were copyrighted and published in both Spanish and English. The Educational Cultural Center sponsored Kankanian for a US Permanent Resident.
In 1999 Kankanian became a US citizen.
Since the mid-1990's, Kankanian's commissioned works hang in multi-million dollar mansions, five- and six- star hotels and stylish restaurants, churches and other commercial establishments. Experimenting with color and light, Kankanian exhumed memories that sustained him throughout his stay in Armenia, Eastern Europe and the America. His collections are stylish and graceful, and timeless in appeal. The atmosphere of his paintings is romantic, soft and simple, enhanced by architectural accents, flowing fabrics with delicate brush strokes. He displays a range of sediments, often contained within private, intimate settings.
The collections are about movement, joy, and delight. They are sensuous and sexy, with gentle sweeps and curves. The palette is delicate and with a shimmering luminance. The experience is truly worldly, blending elements of European and American design to create something fresh and unique. And they are truly classics – elegant and enduring for future generations to relish and appreciate
To see more of Armen's artwork go to: